What are the 4 main types of computer networks?
In today’s digital age, computer networks are crucial for user communication and data sharing. Computer networks come in a variety of forms, each with unique benefits and drawbacks. The four primary categories of computer networks—LAN, WAN, MAN, and WLAN—will be covered in this article.
(LAN) Local Area Network
A network that is restricted to a limited geographic region, such as a building or campus, is known as a local area network, or LAN. Offices, schools, and households frequently utilise LANs. They enable resource sharing and interoperability between various devices, including PCs, printers, and servers.
There are wired and wireless LANs. Devices are linked together in a wired LAN using Ethernet wires. Devices connected to a wireless LAN do so via Wi-Fi. LANs are a common option for small organisations and residences since they are very simple to set up and administer.
A LAN’s constrained range is one of its drawbacks. It cannot link devices that are spread apart since it is limited to a narrow region. Since every device on a LAN is physically linked to every other device on the network, security is another concern.
WAN: Wide Area Network
A wide geographic region, such as a city, a nation, or perhaps the entire planet, is covered by a network known as a wide area network, or WAN. Many different technologies, including phone lines, fibre optic cables, satellite connections, or radio waves, are used by WANs to connect numerous LANs and other networks over considerable distances.
Large organisations, including multinational firms, governmental organisations, and universities, frequently employ WANs to connect their offices and campuses globally. Users are able to access resources and interact with one another from any location because to WANs’ fast data transmission rates.
The expensive expense of a WAN is one drawback. To operate and maintain WANs, you need expensive gear, software, and maintenance. Since WANs transfer data across open networks, they are also susceptible to security risks like viruses and hackers.
MAN, or Metropolitan Area Network
A network that spans a greater geographic area than a LAN but is smaller than a WAN is known as a metropolitan area network, or MAN. MANs are used to connect many LANs or other networks in the same area and are often utilised to span an entire city or region.
Governmental organisations, academic institutions, and major enterprises frequently employ MANs to connect their offices and facilities within a city or a region. High-speed data transmission capabilities of MANs facilitate user access to resources and interoperability.
The high price of a MAN is one of its drawbacks. To run and maintain MANs, costly hardware, software, and maintenance are needed. Since MANs communicate data across public networks, they are also susceptible to security risks like viruses and hackers.
Local area wireless network (WLAN)
A WLAN, or wireless local area network, is a type of network that wirelessly links devices inside a limited geographic region, such a room or a building. Wi-Fi technology is used by WLANs to transport data between devices.
WLANs are frequently used to link computers, tablets, cellphones, and other mobile devices to the internet and other services in homes, workplaces, airports, and other public locations. WLANs are a common option for consumers that need mobility and flexibility since they are simple to set up and use.
The short range of a WLAN is one of its drawbacks. It transmits data through radio waves, therefore the signal strength weakens the further it is from the access point. Since WLANs transfer data over the air, they are also susceptible to security risks including eavesdropping and unauthorized access.